Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Carriacou to Grenada and round to Clarks Court Bay.

Well it was rolling in Tyrrel Bay not badly but enough to make things a little uncomfortable.

I put up with it for a day or two but the settled waters of the bays on the south side of Grenada were calling me.

So I headed south on a day with a touch of North in the prevailing trades. This meant I was able to sail all the way down the west coast of Grenada. I usually have to motor at least part of the way. As a bonus half way down the coast of Grenada I caught another Mahi Mahi.

I stopped of at the capital and stocked up from the supermarket on the waterfront as they have a door to dinghy service. Added an extra jar of tartar sauce too.

Nice one Foodland!

I pulled into Clarks Court Bay late this afternoon and got a reminder that you never rely on buoys in the Caribbean. The entrance is a little scary with reefs on one side and shallow rocks on the other. Well the three outer buoys that lead you into the pass were missing. If I had not been in a few times before I think I wold have chickened out as a fair swell was running.

Anyway the anchor is down. The sails and ropes all made shipshape and my G&T was extra good tonight. Several boats that I saw here last year were anchored here again.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


It was a scene worthy of inclusion in that famous Hitchcock film "The Birds".

I had decided that I would have some grilled fish for lunch, the last of the Mahi Mahi I had caught on the way down. Now this was the second time I had used the barbecue to cook fish in two days and a couple of gulls had got lucky over the scraps and skin.

Well they came back and they bought their friends with them.

I flet at times that they were going to filch the fish right off my plate, I am pretty sure if I had gone below even for a couple of seconds it would have gone.

Like I said scary birds.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tyrell Bay Carriacou

Azuli catamarans are FAST. I have been pretty smug about how fast Elephants Child is and we frequently leave other similar size boats in our wake but I was just blown away on the passage down to Tyrell bay by a smaller boat. A French built Azuli catamaran just whizzed past me, I was doing 7 knots and he must have been doing 10 or 12. Wow do they go fast.

I was boatbound yesterday as the weather was very squally

and I was concerned that there might be draggers in this tight and crowded anchorage but nobody moved. So today I was off ashore to find some lunch. I usually frequent the yacht club but they were shut up so went next door for the first time to the slipway . So named as it is next to the old slipway/marine railway. I believe it was used recently to build a boat on the carriage then launch it.

After lunch it was off to the mangroves to check the depth of the entrance channel. As my depth sounder has packed and the boat has to be hauled to install it's replacement I like to manually check the depth of any shallow passage that I might have to take. The mangroves here are a good hurricane hole.

The wrecks were still there but one at least had a good use being made of it. This pelican was using the mizzen to fish from, at least that is what it seemed to me to be doing as it made short flights almost plunges and returned to its perch.

I found this apt quote on a forum

"......beware, membership of the bluewater cruising tribe is for life and there will be the ever present knowledge that all you have to do to reach Narnia once more is steer for the wardrobe......"

Perhaps it explains the difficulty I had in recalling the day and the month when I checked in here. Lost in Narnia again.

And to finish with here is something you don't see much of in the Caribbean ICE DAMAGE.

The owner is repainting his steel boat after transiting the famed North West Passage. RESPECT!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bequia to Union via the Tobeago Cays

It's the same ever year. All winter, that is to say from October to May, you look forward to some summer sailing in balmy force 3 and sunshine. And every summer it's the same f*****g weather - strong winds and rain. Until that is you have unwisely booked some committment or other when the sun will briefly appear.

Why do we kid ourselves that the UK has a climate suitable for family sailing? It hasnt. The UK climate suits scrabble playing and thats it!

Problem is, what would you do with yourself if you didnt have a boat? I'd class myself as a petrolhead but these days I cant afford the fuel for a decent sized V8. So thats no alternative. Gardening? DIY Visiting Nat Trust gardens with SWMBO and a load of zimmer frame drivers?

It's mid JUne and again there are gales forecast for the weekend.

I posted this acouple of days ago after a fellow forumite was despairing of getting any sailing [see above]

"Ahh I knew there was a reason I am where I am.

Off to do about 20 miles tomorrow, rough plan allows 3hrs 20mins but as it is forecast to be 18 gusting 23 just north of east and my course is west of south; I guess we'll be flying so maybe 2hrs 30mins.

The temp is 81 F [sea that is ] and the rum is about £3 a bottle.

Look it is really quite tough out here I am now tasked to be in the cockpit and to watch the sunset JUST in case we have a green flash AND there are some ladies on a French boat next to me showering au naturel off their bathing platform. It really is a pretty sight yes I AM talking about the sunset. "

Well I got my comeuppance today; I don't know where the disturbance came from but we have had a horrible weather day in Bequia with severe squall lines coming through all day 2 of which had thunderstorms with them followed by near calm periods.

I did start getting ready to go but when the first one blew through at 40 knots plus staying at anchor seemed wiser.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

Well normal service it was 15 to 18 knts the sun was shining and the old lady was flying at 8 knots most of the way down.
I only slowed down to boat a dorado which sorted out what I was having for dinner.

A lunch stop in the Tobeago cays and a snorkel on the outer drop off was good but a little disapointing as I saw no sharks rays or even cuda just some good size jacks.

Finally on to Union Island for the night as it was rolling in the Cays.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bound for Union Island today.

After some R&R I am on the move today. I had planned to go yesterday and had been posting on a forum some smug comments about just how wonderful the weather was out here in Bequia. Well we got hammered yesterday. Heavy squalls all day with thunder and lightening. I was reduced to playing online poker disconnecting the Tosh when the big sparkies were flying.

Shutting down in a few minutes and raising sail.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I have had a few quiet days tucked up in Friendship bay away from the hustle and bustle of mainstream Bequia. I completed a few odd jobs including mounting the boats mascot.

I have also had a couple of sundowner evenings with other single handers but none that can match these guys.

Alessandro Di Benedetto sailed this solo round-the-world in 270 days, achieving nearly 28,360 miles of sea crossings completely alone and without assistance.
His boat was damaged during a crossing of the South Pacific, but he managed to recover the pieces of broken mast and with his new makeshift mast, crossed another ocean and a half, passing by Cape Horn.

Mario Pirri has sailed the elegant Fifer Latifa single handed including a transatlantic passage from Italy to Antigua for this years classic week. A famous racer in her day she finished second in both the 1937 and 1939 Fastnets. She was used to search for clandestine German submarine bases in Irish waters during the second world war.

And then we have the white rasta single handing this, it is about 80 feet long and who knows what it weighs. It looks like an old deep sea fishing boat that has had masts added. The sails are bent on and look ready to hoist be he left under power today.


I was looking for an elephants head for ages. Most suppliers would not post it international, finally got one sent to Colorado when I was skiing.

It replaces one that the previous owners of the boat took with them.

The saloon looks complete now, also it is a handy place to hang things! LOL to.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Today is the first of June and the official start of hurricane season and the start of the time of year when I check the weather reports each morning just in case.

So I logged into NOAA and guess what " A potential hurricane !" was shown on the site. However it is a LOOOOOOONG way a away just off the coast of Florida - so "No Worries".


They flipped her yesterday by anchoring the sunken side and pulling on the topside with the tug. They had done this before but the barge flipped back when the tug stopped pulling.

This time they kept puling for several hours holding the barge, right side up while they pumped water out of the barge tanks.

Bet there was a few drinks on the tug to celebrate last night.